box score | Canis Hoopus
The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road, 132-126. In a back-and-forth affair, this game appeared to bear similar traits to the previous three, where Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns took turns shredding the OKC defense. However, just as we saw two nights ago, the Thunder offense didn’t lose its composure and, in the decisive 4th, shot 65% from the floor and a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line, which was just enough margin to seal the win.
OKC got off to a hot start, jumping ahead by 12 in the early goings, a rare and pleasant sight. However, the Wolves have simply been a tough matchup for the Thunder, with the combination of Towns & Wiggins doing most of the damage. And they got some help — Dario Saric finished with 23 on 9-15 shooting, including 5-9 from three.
The Thunder tripped themselves up a bit in the 3rd, falling behind by 10. The Wolves, once again hitting a high percentage from everywhere, finished the quarter shooting 61% and 5-8 from three. However, once the deficit hit double digits, the Thunder responded strong, with Paul George scoring 8 points in the final 40 seconds of action to pull to within 2.
In the 4th, the Thunder defense finally strung some stops together. They limited the Wolves to only 4 points through nearly minutes of play, in the process building a 12 point lead. However, the Wolves would not go quietly, knowing they could still generate good looks. Behind the efforts of Towns, who scored 17 in the quarter, the Thunder lead shrunk to 4 points.
Relying on their stars, the Thunder survived the Towns push. George hit a clutch jumper and free throws, while Russell Westbrook (hitting another triple-double) hit a contested jumper while getting fouled. With the lead back to 6, the Thunder were able to hold off the Wolves, finally earning an elusive win.
With the win, OKC continues to hang by a thread to the 7th seed over the Spurs, and have now tied the Clippers at the 6th spot, though LA owns the tie break.